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Historicising knowledge - Essay Example

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Scientific proof, scientific explanation and scientific approach are the fashionable terms of our contemporary life. What do we really mean by ‘scientific’? Is it just a set of hypotheses designed in some controlled conditions?…
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Download file to see previous pages Scientific proof, scientific explanation and scientific approach are the fashionable terms of our contemporary life. What do we really mean by ‘scientific’? Is it just a set of hypotheses designed in some controlled conditions?Or is it merely based on certain mathematic calculations and observations? Or is it something like a convenient tool used by politicians to usher their political interests in the name of service/grant to society? This term has transcended all walks of life.Labour management too talks of Taylorism, which in effect separates conception and execution. The ‘scientific management’ of Taylorism is just decoupling the labor processes from the skills of the workers. Scientific approach is not alien to mankind. It had emanated from the moment of realization of human needs and attempts made to get satiated. Right from the Stone Age, starting from the invention of wheels several numerous inventions have come up. The growth of knowledge of science is grotesque to such an extent that many processes, which were really scientific, have become our way of life. Although we tend to admire a village school boy using his socks to fishing in the wayside pond, we are not prepared to call him an innovator or scientist. However, the approach adopted by the boy is really scientific. Man’s everyday perception with theoretical powers had well been conceived by Foucault. Creativity is the means to an end and not an end in itself. Innovation is the end, where the realization of the creative idea is felt in its fullest depth. Innovation means taking all the promising ideas and testing them for real. Despite failures en-route, goal-focused creativity leads to success. (Sloane. P, 2003: p.8) Thus, we can accept science as a way of life but not a superficial guide from the sky to give us always extraordinary. The over conscious style of life has created a sort of numbness giving way to ramification of ‘normal science’ and ‘revolutionary science’. Kuhn’s conception of paradigm although is subjected to criticism by many successors, could not be right away rejected as a misfit. Because, in Kuhn’s view science, whether normal science or revolutionary science, moves in traditional path of progress involving problems, anomaly, crisis and revolution. At this point of revolution he sensed a normal phase to recur allowing an acceptable alternate paradigm to evolve. (Mouton J, 1993: p.77) Kuhn’s work although restricted to problem-solving within the continuously developing domain of interpretations of the paradigm itself, he termed the continuous elaboration of ideas which constituted the original paradigm as ‘normal science’ (Wallace, 1972: p. 467, 469) PERCEPTIONS OF SCIENCE: Science is perceived currently as a provider of extraordinary comfort. The evidence based empirical results – of scientists, (Merquior, 1985: p.40) the ‘workers of evidence’ – have formed a strong foundation of connotations in which the theories and hypotheses evolved in the process of scientific problem-solving are construed as the best and only reliable tools to near the truth. This is what we currently mean scientific approach. An approach that confirms each and every stage of progress is termed scientific approach. Scientists however are expected to evolve imaginable and sometimes unimaginable theories on issues. Such scientists are alone are construed as innovators. Darwin was hesitant to publish his idea of evolution in 1842, since a radical theory required massive observational evidence to be marshaled in its support. (McGrath, 2010: p.34) In fact theorization gets evolved after a long process of perceptions and necessities. (Pearson, p.134). The theory of planetary motion is in itself as logically necessary as the theory of circle (…) The necessity lies in the world of conceptions and is only unconsciously and illogically transferred to the world of perception. While talking about the law of motion of a planet, Pearson ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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